Friday, May 11, 2012


Congolese team, TP Mazembe players, officials and supporters remained holed in their hotel on Friday and the police implored Mazembe supporters to remain in their hotel and not venture alone into town as it might not be safe following a violent reception from the Al Merreick supporters on arrival on Thursday evening.

A violent confrontation ensured at the Khartoum international airport when the Mazembe entourage cleared customs with hundreds of Al Merreick supporters stationed strategically on the first floor balcony of the airport pelted the visitors with all sorts of missiles.

The besieged visitors retaliated and took out water battles and a fierce exchange of missile throwing ensued and was eventually quelled by the police, who throw a cordon around the visitors and escorted them to their buses.

And even then, a strong crowd of local supporters, making threatening gestures to the visitors, throwing fists in air, chanted to the visitors in a clear sign of intimidation ahead of Saturday night's second round African Champions League tie at the Omdurman Stadium where the visitors enjoy a 2-0 lead from the first leg tie in Lubumbashi.

The Mazembe team arrived in Khartoum from Zambia where they have been preparing for this clash in their brand new DC-83 plane called Katanga Wings. But in a clear case of gamesmanship, they were made to wait for nearly three hours before they could clear customs.

Although there were 15 desk at their magnificent airport, the anti Mazembe group of 98 people including players and technical staff was made to queue on a single desk. And even then, the custom official took at least between 12 and 15 minutes to clear and stamp one person's passport.

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